Pick Elementary School
1320 N. College Street
Auburn, AL 36830
1-5 class periods
Students will interpret primary sources written by, to, and about Thomas Jefferson to develop an understanding of his personality within the family setting. Students will practice making appropriate inferences based on the content of the letters. Students will practice evaluation skills by choosing the character trait or traits they feel Thomas Jefferson exemplifies through his personal letters.
Students should be able to identify character traits based on inferencing skills from prior literature lessons.
Students should have an understanding of Thomas Jefferson's role during the American Revolution.
USI.5 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the factors that shaped colonial America bydescribing colonial life in America from the perspectives of large landowners, farmers, artisans, women, free African Americans, indentured servants, and enslaved African Americans;
USI.6 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the causes and results of the American Revolution by describing key events and the roles of key individuals in the American Revolution, with emphasis on George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry;
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.1Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.3Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.5Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts.CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.6
Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.9
Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably
Students will read multiple personal letters from the collection of Thomas Jefferson to infer character traits.
Students will choose character traits that describe Thomas Jefferson.
Students will justify their choices when writing by using text evidence from the letter to support their reasoning.
Technology Connection: Using the National Archives Founders Online website, students will explore the Thomas Jefferson collection of letters.
Students will demonstrate the abiltity to recognize appropriate character traits based on the text evidence as evidenced through group and class discussion, and their written responses.
What evidence can be used to describe someone's character traits?
How do character traits influence one's relationships or actions?
How do Thomas Jefferson's character traits change over time?
If unable to use class technology to view the letters, print hard copies of each letter in each collection.
Thomas Jefferson as Young Man
From Thomas Jefferson to John Page- December 25, 1762
From Thomas Jefferson to William Fleming- October 1763
From Thomas Jefferson to John Page-January 23,1764Thomas Jefferson as a Husband
From Thomas Jefferson to Elizabeth Wayles Eppes- October 3, 1782
From Thomas Jefferson to Chastellux- November 26, 1782
Lines Copied from Tristram Shandy by Martha and Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson as a Father
From Thomas Jefferson to Martha Jefferson (1st daughter)- November 28, 1783
From Thomas Jefferson to Martha Jefferston (1st daughter)- December 22, 1783
From Thomas Jefferson to Marth Jefferson (1st daughter)- December 23, 1790
From Thomas Jefferson to Mary Jefferson (2nd daughter)- September 20, 1785
From Thomas Jefferson to Mary Jefferson (2nd daughter)- February 7, 1799Thomas Jefferson as a Grandfather
From Thomas Jefferson to Ellen Wayles Randolph (1st granddaughter) November 27, 1801
From Thomas Jefferson to Cornelia Jefferson Randolph- April 3, 1808
From Thomas Jefferson to Cornelia Jefferson Randolph- January 23, 1809
From Thomas Jefferson to Francis Eppes- September 9, 1814
From Virginia Jefferson Randolph to Thomas Jefferson- February 17, 1809
If available, iPads or laptops to view letters online from the National Archives Founders Online website.
Instruct students to write a paragraph describing how Thomas Jefferson did or did not change over time. Encourage students to use the class charts listing character traits as well as the copies of the letters to construct their paragraph and to use text evidence to support their ideas.
Students who need accomodations can use their Thomas Jefferson Character Traits Worksheet to copy their daily recording in paragraph format.
Students who need advanced accomodations can be shown how to search the National Archives Founders Online website to explore more letters written by, to, and about Thomas Jefferson.
An additional advanced accomodation would be to allow students to record readings of the letters and develop a podcast to further explore Thomas Jefferson's character.